Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Cartegena to Medellin
Today I left Cartegena and drove west, past some very tidy farms with perfect green grass. Not just one, but mile after after mile of them! This was not what I was expecting. Eventually the road starts into the hills and climbs to 2000 meters, past some villages that cling to the sides of valleys and rivers. There are a lot of poor people living out here, and at some points they are positioned every 50 meters or so with their arms holding out a cup or plate, hoping that someone will throw a few coins as they pass. The road in the hills has more turns and blind corners but people in cars just overtake anyway. This includes buses with little regard for safety!
In Medellin I had to ask myself, "Am I really in South America?" A bigger surprise was to find that there is a Metro train system with a Gondola! I feel like I am in Europe or something. This place keeps getting better and better by the day , though the part I do not like is trying to find an address in the big cities. It's just the chaos that comes with the situation, and the one-way street system that sometimes just does not let you drive around the block.
While I was in Medellin, I just had to see Juan Pablo Escobar [famous criminal] so I took the metro to the last stop, then asked directions. At first no one seemed to know where I was going. Then I said the magic name and the next thing I knew, I was in a taxi and down the road faster than light. I was everyone's friend!
Here's Mr Escobar. Looking good!